2018 Hero Super Splendor First Ride Review: The Best-seller just got Better

The headline is a give-away, there’s a new Splendor in town! Solid build, good mileage and reliability are some of the traits that have become synonymous with the Splendor moniker. A brand that has become the poster boy for reliable inexpensive mobility, we ride the 2018 edition before the launch and here’s what we think.

Hero MotoCorp just gave a Christmas gift to its audience with the unveiling of not one, not two, but three motorcycles that target a major chunk of the population. One of these was the new Hero Super Splendor, a motorcycle that has been doing a good job for the country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer for over a decade. One of the best sellers in the 125cc commuter bike segment, the Super Splendor was launched back in the year 2005 when the company felt the need to offer a more powerful contender to the supremely established Splendor brand. The motorcycle had been using the technology and powertrain from Hero’s former partner Honda since its inception. After parting ways with the Japanese auto major in 2010, the company decided to revamp its product portfolio with complete indigenous products. The recently launched 2018 Hero Super Splendor is one of the steps towards the same as the bike now has everyone from head to toe that has been made by Hero including the engine. So, what all new does the 2018 Super Splendor packs in. We find out!

2018 Hero Super Splendor Design: Same old visuals or anything new?

The new Super Splendor looks identical to the outgoing model as the overall silhouette of the bike remains almost the same. It is the tail of the bike that has received a significant makeover with a sleek tail lamp unit that resembles somewhat with the previous generation Glamour. Also, the boxy design of the tail has given way to sharp edges giving the bike a much needed fresher outlook. Hero MotoCorp has also added a bit of chrome on the side panels to offer a touch of premium-ness. An added reflector on the tail piece also adds to the fresh theme. Also a part of the cosmetic refresh the new Super Splendor gets some minor touch-ups to make it more appealing to India’s growing aspirational market.

Another such example is the matte black finish on the handlebar as against chrome treatment on the previous model. Overall, the new Hero Super Splendor has a very mature, no-nonsense design that neither looks boring nor too overdone at the same time.



2018 Hero Super Splendor Performance: What does it deliver?

The 2018 Hero Super Splendor shares its powertrain with the new generation Glamour, which means that it now gets a completely in-house developed engine. The peppy 124.7cc engine now churns out almost 2 hp more power and 0.65 Nm more torque in comparison to its predecessor. Having said that, the engine now develops respective power and torque outputs of 11.2 hp and 11 Nm. All thanks to this, the engine now feels more responsive and a bit more eager than the previous generation. Furthermore, the refinement level has also gone up ensuring lesser vibrations. However, you will feel the buzz on the footpegs and handlebar once you cross the 70 kmph mark. The company claims a top speed of 94 kmph but our test route did not allow us to touch that mark and the bike crossed 80 kmph without much difficulty.

The four-speed gearbox felt a bit clunky at times and gear shifts were not that smooth as compared to its rivals. Just like the previous model, this one too is linked to the company’s patented i3s technology that works fine. The mechanism favours fuel saving as it automatically shuts down the engine when the gearbox is engaged in neutral and the engine is at idle for five seconds. Hero is not quoting any fuel efficiency figure as of now but we expect it to be somewhere close to 60 kmpl. Having said that, the 13-litre fuel tank will offer you a range of close to 800 km. We could not measure the exact figure in the short ride and we will do that once the bike comes to us for a comprehensive review.

2018 Hero Super Splendor Ride Quality and Handling: How is the ride?

The new Hero Super Splendor gets footpegs positioned neither too forward nor too backward and the upright riding position makes daily commutes easy and hassle-free. The motorcycle has a wide and comfortable seat that has a height of 785mm. The Super Splendor surprisingly does not get an optional front disc brake in such a case when the low-spec Passion Pro and Passion XPro get one. For this reason, it definitely lacks that bite up front. However, the 130mm drum brakes are progressive and are apt for frequent stops-and-goes. The grip from the tyres also seemed fine in terms of daily riding. However, the tyres are not tubeless and Hero has avoided giving the benefit in favour of cost-cutting. The motorcycle now has a total kerb weight of 124 kgs and it has gained 3 kilos in the latest update, although it will be difficult to spot on the trot.

2018 Hero Super Splendor Verdict – Should you buy one?

If you can live with a slightly bland looking motorcycle and want a reliable, economical and commuter focused rIde, the Super Splendor makes a good option for you. The price of the 2018 model is yet to be announced and we are expecting it to be Rs 700 to 2,000 higher than the outgoing model that was being retailed at Rs 56,215 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new Super Splendor isn’t at the top in the segment and loses to Honda CB Shine in terms of refinement and rideability. However, the bike undercuts its competition in terms of pricing and the solid build of the bike coupled with the trust of the Hero brand name will surely drive volumes in the mass market.

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